Tag Archives: Australia

Smoking Ban to be Trialled in Sydney’s Martin Place

Man Smoking in Park

Sydney City Council has imposed a trial smoking ban on all outdoor areas in Martin Place from today.

The council said a survey of more than 700 people found that most people would prefer the entire area be smoke-free.

Councillor Jenny Green said under the 12-month trial, rangers will walk around with ashtrays asking smokers to put their cigarettes out.

“The general open space area will now be smoke-free, so anyone wanting to eat their lunch, read, just sit in the sun – the people next to them obviously won’t be able to smoke,” she said.

“So that will be a relief for non-smokers and of course will reduce the number of butts that are also produced in the area.”

Councillor Green said the ban would work well alongside smoking bans in outdoor dining areas, which come into effect in July.

“So outdoor cafes, pubs and so on, restaurants – if you’re sitting outside and you’re near food you no longer can smoke,” she said.

“I think it will coincide with the education campaign around that particular law.

“I think it’s a good thing. We have to remember that less than 20 per cent of the population smoke, so for some time the rest of the population who like to sit outdoors – be it in Martin Place or in a cafe – [have been] unable to eat their lunch without someone next to them lighting up a cigarette.”

The council said it would like to see a smoking ban extended to Pitt Street Mall in the CBD.

State laws already restrict smoking in some areas in Martin Place.Now smokers have to seek for other places to smoke their cheap cigarettes bought online at

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Posted by on May 12, 2015 in Tobacco News


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Smoking banned in NSW national parks

Smoking is to be banned in all 860 national parks in NSW, Environment Minister Rob Stokes has announced.

Smoking is to be banned in NSW national parks, the state government has announced.

Environment Minister Rob Stokes said the ban would lessen the risk of bushfires and reduce litter.

Seven billion cigarette butts are dropped in Australia every year and as well as looking unsightly, they contain hazardous chemicals such as arsenic and lead, which can then leach into the environment.

Wildlife can also eat cigarette butts.

Making the announcement on Sunday, Mr Stokes said the ban would apply to picnic areas, campgrounds, beaches, lookouts, walking tracks and national parks roads.

“The NSW government is serious about reducing fire risk and littering

in NSW, and this move will reduce litter and help to keep communities safer,” he said in a statement.

“We have 860 national parks in NSW which protect our most beautiful and most popular natural areas.

“We want to make sure they are safe and healthy for everyone.”

The move comes after Police and Emergency Services Minister Stuart Ayres recently announced that the penalty for littering lighted cigarettes had doubled from $330 to $660.

The fine has also risen from $660 to $1320 if someone discards a lit cigarette on a total fire ban day.

Tom, smoker of Blood cigarettes online, says he is disagree with the move as it breaks his rights.

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Posted by on November 18, 2014 in Tobacco News


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Impact of the Plain Packaging Reforms on Tobacco Use

The November 2013 study Mr Argent referred to was conducted by London Economics, a UK economic and policy consultancy firm, and commissioned by Philip Morris International, which sells branded cigarettes in 180 markets. London Economics surveyed Australian adults three times: between July and October 2012, before the new regulations began; in March 2013, three months after their full implementation; and in July 2013. The November report was “an interim assessment” of the firm’s analysis of the impact of plain packaging on smoking prevalence.

The study did not directly address the impact of plain packaging on potential new smokers, despite this being the government’s stated policy priority. It found that the largest group of tobacco consumers, those who smoke daily, fell from 20.4 per cent of the adult population before plain packs became mandatory to 19.5 per cent three months afterwards. The number of daily smokers then rose to 20 per cent in July 2013. Respondents who said they were weekly but not daily smokers initially fell, then returned to the pre-implementation level of 2.1 per cent. “Less than weekly” smoking fell from 2.3 per cent to 1.9 per cent and then rose to 2.2 per cent.

The study also found the number of people who claimed never to have smoked increased from 45.6 per cent in the second half of 2012 to 46.6 per cent in July 2013. Those numbers represent a reduction of 0.4 per cent in the number of Australian adults smoking daily and a 1 per cent increase in the number of adults who had never smoked (suggesting more of those turning 18 do not smoke). The report’s authors said that “from a statistical perspective, none of these changes were different from zero”.

They conclude that “over the timeframe of the analysis, the data does not demonstrate that there has been a change in smoking prevalence following the introduction of plain packaging and larger health warnings…” The second report Mr Argent referred to was a study of the sale of illicit tobacco in Australia. It was conducted by accounting firm KPMG and commissioned by Imperial Tobacco, British American Tobacco and Philip Morris.

The report estimated that the overall level of tobacco consumption in Australia was 17.4 million kilograms in the year to June 2013, the same level as the year before. It said consumption of legal products fell from 15.3 million kilograms to 15.1, while consumption of illicit products increased correspondingly. The KPMG report did not evaluate the impact of the plain packaging reforms on consumption.

Imperial Tobacco, which produces cheap Davidoff cigarettes, recently argued against the introduction of plain packaging in Britain, stating “following the introduction of standardised packaging in Australia, smoking prevalence has not been affected”.

It cited the KPMG report’s finding that overall consumption had remained stable. However, Imperial Tobacco’s submission, dated January 10, urged the UK government to postpone deciding on plain packaging legislation because there was insufficient evidence about the impact of the Australian reforms. It noted that the latest national statistics from Australia covering smoking prevalence were for the end of 2012 and there had been no data or anecdotal evidence on youth smoking rates in Australia after 2011.

“We are not aware of any national statistics from Australia… covering the period since standardised packaging was mandated,” the submission said. “We consider this to be an essential requirement for a proper assessment of the policy’s impact.” The Australian Government was planning a review on the plain packaging measures in December 2014 “and we would expect other governments to wait until this review has been conducted before making any decisions,” it said.

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Posted by on January 28, 2014 in Tobacco News


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How Many Students in Australia Use Tobacco Products

The university system does not have data on how many of its students smoke or use tobacco products.

About 70 per cent of college students nationwide reported that they had never smoked in the past three years of surveys conducted by the American College Health Association. In the most recent survey completed this spring, almost 14 per cent of students reported smoking cigarettes within the previous 30 days.

Hopkins already has support for his proposal from incoming Regents chairman Philip Wilheit. Wilheit, president of a packaging products company headquartered in Gainesville, implemented a tobacco ban at his office three years ago. It was a smart financial decision, he said.

“I think it is the wave of the future,” he said. “I think as regents we have a responsibility to our students to do what’s best for them and their health.”

Various schools within the university system already have some sort of smoking or tobacco ban. Some schools outlaw all tobacco products, and others allow students to smoke in designated areas that are specified distances from common areas.

Wilheit is unsure how the ban would be implemented at outdoor athletic facilities. Some facilities already have tobacco policies in place. All areas of the University of Georgia’s Sanford Stadium are tobacco-free, and smoking also is prohibited in Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium.

But one thing Wilheit isn’t for: designated smoking areas. “I think that is like being a little bit pregnant,” he said. And what about those students, like Bass, who say they’re adults and ought to be able to do what they want? “They can do what they want, but they can’t do it on our campuses,” Hopkins said.

Outside the university system, higher education institutions vary on their tobacco policies. Emory implemented a full tobacco ban last year, while Clark Atlanta University allows smoking in some designated outdoor areas.

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Posted by on December 3, 2013 in Tobacco News


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Cigarettes Labeling Law in Australia

The new labeling law, which bans brand logos and requires health warnings to cover 75 percent of the front of cigarettes packages and 90 percent of the back, aims to remove the allure of well-known brands. Last year, a challenge to the law brought by British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco, Japan Tobacco and Philip Morris Australia — arguing that it was a violation of their intellectual property rights — was dismissed by the Australian High Court.

The packaging law is quickly becoming an international trade issue. Philip Morris Asia, whose headquarters are in Hong Kong, is challenging the legislation under a broad 1993 bilateral trade agreement aimed at promoting and protecting trade between Australia and Hong Kong. Philip Morris argues that by stripping its products of their brand identity, the law hurts its intellectual property in violation of that agreement.

Cuba, the world’s dominant producer of fine cigars, filed a “request for consultations” in May with Australia through the World Trade Organization, the first time the country has used the forum to confront another nation directly over its commercial laws. The Dominican Republic, Honduras and Ukraine have already challenged Australia over the issue at the W.T.O., citing “technical barriers” to trade and violations of intellectual property rights.

In another closely followed move, Japan Tobacco, Asia’s biggest publicly listed cigarette maker, said at the end of June that it had filed suit against the Thai government over its plan, announced in April, to increase the size of graphic health warnings to 85 percent of the cigarette pack cover, from 55 percent.

The taste issue comes into sharp focus at Sol Levy Tobacconist. Evelyn Platus, whose grandfather was the founding Mr. Levy, has managed the shop on a prime strip of real estate in what is now Sydney’s booming Chinatown for more than 20 years. On a recent afternoon, it was nearly empty. Her business, she said, has been hurt by high taxes and restrictive rules governing tobacco. But when it comes to plain packaging, the ire she normally reserves for the “nanny state” is pointed at Big Tobacco.

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Posted by on July 16, 2013 in Tobacco News


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